Colin Marshall provides a very good introduction to the South Korean novelist Kim Young-ha, but in the midst of discussing the newly translated Black Flower, he suddenly informs us parenthetically that "I look forward to Korea's coming film adaptation of Your Republic is Calling You, but a cinematic version of Black Flower could do even better, with this high watermark of futility in its New Korea episode, assuming it finds the right director — Werner Herzog, for instance."
This preoccupation with the film version, or the possibility of a film version, of a work of fiction has become very annoying to me. It's as if a literary work can no longer be truly validated unless it becomes a film "adaptation" (or that only those works that are provided such adaptation are thereby validated.) I love movies (and was even at one time myself a quasi- film scholar), but must we reinforce the general cultural preference for the visual appeal of films by implicitly sharing that preference in literary criticism? Doesn't Marshall's statement suggest that Black Flower won't be complete until that version directed by Werner Herzog comes along? That Hezog's version will in some way even be better?
It makes me think that readers and critics ostensibly committed to fiction as an artistic form nevertheless read fiction with the possible film adaptation in mind. This seems perverse to me.